Making Things Easy and Safe
Did you know that 80% of seniors take a least one medication per day, and many take three or more? While it may not be hard to remember to take them, having several prescriptions could potentially cause drug interactions, mix-ups, or side effects. That’s why it’s important to have a strict schedule and know exactly what you’re taking.
Here, our adult day care experts share some tips for senior medication management:
Be Aware of Side Effects
Before taking a new medication, you should be aware of any and all side effects it could cause. If you happen to experience any of these side effects, don’t simply dismiss them or attribute them to another cause. Talk to your doctor about it and make sure that the dose you’ve been prescribed is correct and that the medication isn’t interacting with any other medication.
Consistency is key when taking medication, so if you find yourself having trouble remembering to take yours, set reminders for yourself. Whether it’s a reminder for one medication or for six, you’ll be able to stay on track and maximize the effectiveness of your prescriptions. Reminders can especially come in handy if you have medications that need to be taken at different times during the day.
It’s much easier to know which medications to take and when to take them when they’re easily organized. Do yourself a favor and pick up a few pill boxes in different colors. You can use these to separate your prescriptions by a.m. and p.m., days of the week, with-food and without-food, and more to make the process easier.
Notice Expiration Dates
If your medication is taken on a frequent, regular basis, you likely don’t have to worry about expiration dates. However, if you have any medications that are taken on an as-needed basis (such as pain medications), it can be easy to overlook expiration dates. Make sure you check your medications on a regular basis to make sure they’re still good. If you’re unsure, you can always contact your pharmacist to see when the medication was prescribed.
If you’re someone who doesn’t drive (or doesn’t like to drive), you may not be able to pick up your own medications. If this is the case, find a pharmacy nearby that offers prescription deliveries that you can schedule on a weekly or monthly basis. You can also ask a trusted neighbor or a nearby loved one to pick up your medication for you.
This should go without saying, but don’t ever share your medications with someone else and don’t take any medications offered to you. It may be tempting to try something that your friend says works for them, but each body handles medications differently and it’s important to talk to a professional before trying anything new.
At New Generations, we offer medication management as part of our South Carolina adult day care programs. This lets seniors relax and not have to worry about their prescriptions. Instead, they can enjoy a warm, comfortable environment, the company of others, and the variety of fun activities we offer.